Sunday, January 11, 2009

Here's my damn epiphany

On September 17, seven days after my quadruple bypass, I posted this under the heading "Where's my damn epiphany?":

"If I were writing a story based on the recent events in my life, this would be the point where my protagonist has an epiphany--that character-altering moment when he vows to be a better person and save the world from injustice. So where's my damn epiphany?"

Here's my damn epiphany:

I used to take writing for granted. I never had writers block (which is a lazy writer's excuse for not writing) and I could write almost anywhere under almost any conditions. Then I spent 3.5 months essentially NOT writing. My head was empty. Now I'm writing again and I don't take it for granted. I'm overflowing with story ideas and things I want to write about. I'm even having trouble sleeping because I have so many stories zipping through my head. But take it for granted when I've learned how easily it can disappear? Not now.

4 comments:

Brian Evankovich said...

Michael, That's probably a good lesson for all of us. --Brian

Kevin R. Tipple said...

"...which is a lazy writer's excuse for not writing..."

And yet, you still say this. I would think you would now understand why, for some of us, it really is true and not anything about being lazy.

Michael Bracken said...

I think there is a difference between "writer's block" and serious physical, emotional, or chemical reasons for not writing or for having problems writing. Too often the writers I hear using "writer's block" as an excuse for not writing are simply coming up with a cheap excuse for not putting their butts in chairs and their fingers on keyboards.

The writers who have serious problems writing don't have "writer's block"; they have real-world problems. In my case, it was a quadruple bypass and subsequent medication. Once the real-world problem is addressed and corrected, writing comes back.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

"Too often the writers I hear using "writer's block" as an excuse for not writing are simply coming up with a cheap excuse for not putting their butts in chairs and their fingers on keyboards."

On this we agree. But, I was talking about what has happened to me and what has happened to you. Clearly, you had writer's block. Now, whether you want to call it that or not is another issue.

And you are making an assumption that the real world problem can be fixed and if so, everything will go back to normal. I have stage two congestive heart failure which is uncurable and progressive. I don't want to say more about it here in a public forum, but, the bottom line is that you got lucky that a change in meds made a huge difference.